CREATED Mar. 5, 2012
INDIAN WELLS--Day one of the BNP Paribas Open kicked off with free admission Monday, and on Tuesday you can also go for free. The women battled it out on the court in qualifying rounds in a total of 24 matches. But as fans came to watch, it was time for volunteers and ball kids to go to work.
Back and forth they went as the women's qualifying rounds continued Monday.
"To be able to say I was there I saw it happen versus watching it on TV, you feel really a part of it and it's exciting," said fan Monica Hamrick.
Fans filling the Indian Wells Tennis Garden for free, as some of the rising stars of tennis served their way into the next round.
But behind the scenes there's another world at the BNP Paribas Open. A world of volunteers and ball kids.
"I think it's one of the most unique jobs in the world," said BNP Paribas Open Public Relations Spokesman Matt Van Tuinen. "How often do you get to be on the court or on the field with some of the biggest super stars in the game?"
"That would be great, that would be my dream. It may happen it may not, we'll see," said volunteer Bob Brown.
But for ball kids, getting up close and personal with players is just part of the job.
"I've done Nadal, Federer, Sharapova, Djokovic, Roddick, his towel's really sweaty, it was disgusting," said ball kid Madisen Lester.
"Waiting for Andy Roddick's serve to come right at you is just really scary because it's really fast," said ball kid Kristern Oeser.
Sweaty towels and scary serves, stand out moments for ball kids at the BNP Paribas Open.